Bill Clinton Made the Economic Case for Barack Obama

Former President Bill Clinton successfully highlighted the mess George W. Bush left for Obama, and how the current president has achieved progress.

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Former President Bill Clinton applauds while speaking to delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

Bill Clinton's speech Wednesday night was a big hit for both presidential candidates: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Former President Clinton gave the best answer yet to the question of why we're all better off economically under Barack Obama than we were four years after George W. Bush's train wreck of a presidency. President Obama

inherited a deeply damaged economy. He put a floor under the crash. He began the long, hard road to recovery and laid the foundation for a modern, more balanced economy that will produce millions of good new jobs, vibrant new businesses, and lots of new wealth for innovators.

[See a slideshow of the 12 Most Memorable Political Convention Speeches.]

The former president has excellent credentials to make his case for the progress we have made since January of 2009. Clinton left his successor a healthy economy and a balanced budget. The only things that George W. Bush left his successor were the financial meltdown at the end of his presidency and a stack of IOUs that would choke Mitt Romney's dancing horse. If the GOP is the party of fiscal disciple, why is Bill Clinton the only president in the last generation to leave the White House with a budget surplus? Republicans may not want to read this, but their heroes Ronald Reagan and both Presidents Bush left their successors a sea of red ink deep enough to drown Olympic swimming medalist Michael Phelps.

Actually, Joe Biden's answer is even better. The vice president succinctly summed up the progress that we've made in the last four years when he famously said, "Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive." Biden's answer wasn't as eloquent as Bill Clinton's, but it fits better on a bumper sticker and it recognizes President Obama's gold-medal national security record. I would sum up Commander in Chief Barack Obama's foreign policy successes this way: Osama bin Laden and Muammar Qadhafi are both dead, the United States is out of Iraq, and we're on our way out of Afghanistan.

Not bad work in less than four years. Barack Obama can do a lot more to get this country back on the right track if he has another four years to finish the job.

  • Read Robert Schlesinger: 6 Things Bill Clinton Did Right
  • Read the U.S. News Debate: Was the Republican Convention a Success for Romney?
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